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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: 5 Major Takeaways from the Trailer

Ubisoft released the first trailer for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on Thursday, which revealed several key elements of the upcoming game. Additionally, it released a press release with details about gameplay and plot that are not visible in the trailer. According to the press release, players can choose to control a man or woman in-game, which continues the new status quo established in 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Unlike Odyssey, however, Valhalla features two gender options for the same character: Eivor, a “fierce Viking raider raised on tales of battle and glory.” Eivor is the leader of a group of Norsemen who are driven out of their homeland by “endless wars and dwindling resources in the ninth century CE.” This means the game takes place toward the end of the Viking period, to give players some context as to what’s happening politically and socially when the story begins.

In addition to these details, here are five main takeaways from the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla trailer.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Unleashes Bloody Cinematic Trailer

This may seem like a given, but the graphics in the Valhalla trailer are so good that at first, it seems like a live-action movie. Both Origins and Odyssey (2017 and 2018, respectively) featured super-smooth gameplay and stunning cut scenes, but Valhalla appears to improve these tenfold. Ostensibly, there will still be occasional glitches — such is the struggle with digital media — but the newest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise will be its most beautiful and immersive title yet.

As seen in the trailer, Valhalla will feature a revamped combat system that allows players to dual-wield weapons against a wider variety of foes. Furthermore, players will lead raids to secure supplies as they seek to settle a new home for their clan, as well as establish and expand a settlement and wield political influence.

The Assassin’s Creed Valhalla trailer reveals the game is slated for release in time for the holidays, which means fans have only a few months left to wait before they can dive into an all-new story. It will be available for Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Windows PC players can purchase the game via the Epic Games Store or Ubisoft Store; it will also be included in Ubisoft’s Uplay Plus subscription service.

Related: Assassin’s Creed: How Moving the Franchise Backward Brought It Forward

From the jump, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla emphasizes the role of the Norse Gods. Eivor receives war paint as he looks upon a religious statue and as he and his clan go into battle, one of Odin’s ravens flies overhead while the god himself seems to stand on the field, statuesque beside a twisted tree.

Gods almost always play a role in Assassin’s Creed games, especially Odyssey — which features an entire DLC focused on navigating the underworld and eventually fighting Hades. It seems the Norse Gods will factor into Valhalla just as heavily, if not moreso.

The narrator of the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla trailer is King Aelfred of Wessex, who describes the Vikings as “heartless, godless barbarians” who “murder and kill blindly” and “scar the lands of England, lands they will never defend, never love.” Make no mistake: The Viking age was a brutal, violent period in history and the Vikings themselves raped, pillaged and plundered — but there is some debate as to whether they were any more cruel or committed more atrocities than any other group at the time.

As Eivor and the Norsemen seek to create a new home, they’ll face incredible resistance from the Saxons. Players will have to navigate political alliances, combat decisions and dialogue choices that will affect the clan’s future, which means they’ll need to choose wisely lest they suffer incredible consequences.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is slated for a holiday 2020 release.

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Ubisoft released the first trailer for Assassin's Creed Valhalla on April 30 and these are the biggest takeaways.

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